NOJHL names its Players of the Month for December

SUDBURY, Ont. – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced Friday its respective players of the month for December in the forward, defenceman, goaltender and rookie groupings.

FORWARD OF THE MONTH – DEREK SEGUIN, TIMMINS ROCK: A model of consistency, the Rock captain etched his name on the game sheet in five of the six contests Timmins had last month.

This included collecting nine points in total and scoring at least once in four of those outings.

Having tallied in eight of the Rock’s 12 match-ups so far this season as well as picking up points in 10 of them, the 20-year-old South Porcupine, Ont., product sits tied for the NOJHL scoring lead with 18 points, including adding a league-best dozen markers.

Seguin also tops all skaters with six power play goals.

A veteran of 150 NOJHL contests, he sits 36 points shy of 200 in his Jr. A career.

Honourable Mention: Jacob Kelly, Blind River Beavers; Nicholas DeGrazia, Rayside-Balfour Canadians.

Monthly recipients
November: Quinton Hill, Hearst Lumberjacks
December: Derek Seguin, Timmins Rock

DEFENCEMAN OF THE MONTH – BRENDAN BOYCE, TIMMINS ROCK: Efforts on both ends of the ice by Boyce helped earn him monthly NOJHL accolades on defence.

The 19-year-old blueliner, who hails from Courtice, Ont., collected a couple of markers and dished out three assists to help pace league-leading Timmins offensively.

Meanwhile, his work on the back end contributed to the Rock allowing only 12 markers against in six December outings vs. high-scoring Hearst, who lead the NOJHL in goals scored with 47.

Boyce presently leads all league D-men in goals with four, with each of those tallies coming during Rock victories.

He also sits third in assists among rearguards, with six, and is second in offensive production among all league defencemen with 10 points, in 11 appearances.

Honourable Mention: Carson Cox, Hearst Lumberjacks; Connor Toms, Soo Thunderbirds

Monthly recipients
November: Carson Cox, Hearst Lumberjacks
December: Brendan Boyce, Timmins Rock

GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH – ALEX BUGEJA, SOO THUNDERBIRDS: Manning the Sault Ste. Marie net twice in December, the 19-year-old from West Vancouver, B.C., came away victorious in both appearances.

Bugeja began with a 41-save effort on 43 shots on Dec. 17 against Espanola and followed that up three days later by handling all but one of the 37 attempts he faced in another Thunderbirds triumph over the Express.

His overall efforts saw him register a 1.50 goals-against average in the time frame along with an equally solid .963 save percentage.

The Soo stopper has won each of his last three starts and sports a .946 save mark in that span.

Honourable Mention: Liam Oxner, Hearst Lumberjacks; Tyler Masternak, Timmins Rock

Monthly recipients
November: Tyler Masternak, Timmins Rock
December: Alex Bugeja, Soo Thunderbirds

ROOKIE OF THE MONTH – DEVIN MAURO, BLIND RIVER BEAVERS: A seven-point run in December helped the 16-year-old Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native move up to second in NOJHL rookie scoring.

In the final month of 2020, Mauro scored twice for Blind River and dished out five assists.

His contributions with the Beavers last month also saw him provide a trio of multi-point outings, giving him four in total overall this season.

In all, Mauro has three goals and eights assists to his credit in eight games.

Honourable Mention: Zachary Demers, Hearst Lumberjacks; Connor Toms, Soo Thunderbirds

Monthly recipients
November: Luke Bibby, Espanola Express
December: Devin Mauro, Blind River Beavers